Essex Kicks Off $50M Venture Fund –

BOSTON – Essex Investment Management in July was slated to launch a late-stage venture capital fund for private clients and institutional investors, said Dan Beckham, a principal and portfolio manager for the firm.

The vehicle, with a $50 million cap, will invest in communications technology companies such as software, electronics, telecommunications and the Internet that are likely to go public within the next twelve months. The minimum investment will be about $250,000, Mr. Beckham said.

The fund will have a five-year life and will invest as much as 10% in any one holding.

“We look to make between 20 and 25 investments,” he said.

The firm closed a similar fund at $10 million in February that had been open only to its current clients. Mr. Beckham said that Essex has seen strong interest in the new fund among existing clients, including several pensions and endowments.

Essex, an equity shop with $7.5 billion in assets under management, manages small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap and all-cap products in addition to its private equity offerings.